HUSKIES CLINCH FIRST PLACE IN DIVISION2013-02-15
With an 82-64 win over the visiting No. 9 University of Alberta Golden Bears, the No. 10 ranked University of Saskatchewan Huskies clinched top spot in the Canada West prairie division Friday afternoon at the PAC in Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan used strong shooting in the second half to secure first place in the division for the second straight season. The Huskies shot 61% from the field in the final two quarters, while Alberta shot at just 48%.
The two teams showed why they were tied atop the standings coming into the game as they battled back and forth throughout the first half with neither team able to separate themselves.
The Huskies went into the locker room with a 35-29 lead at the half. Both teams struggled to get it going offensively in the third quarter combining to score just four points in the opening four minutes.
In the fourth quarter, the Huskies began to heat up from long range, hitting three straight 3-pointers to extend their lead to 20. Alberta battled back, going on an 8-2 run of their own, but could not close the gap any closer than 13.
Canada West leading scorer Stephon Lamar led the charge offensively for the Huskies with 19 points and six assists. Third-year guard Ben Baker made a solid contribution racking up 14 points and eight rebounds on the night.
For the Bears, Youssef Ouahrig led the team with 11 points, while Kenneth Otieno made his mark on the defensive end with five rebounds and three steals. Noble Crowfoot also chipped in for the Bears with nine points and four assists.
Locking up first place ensures the Huskies will host a conference quarter-final best-of-three series next weekend. Depending on other Canada West outcomes, Alberta could be eliminated from the playoff contention with a loss tomorrow night.
The two teams will meet again Saturday at the PAC in the final regular season game. Tipoff is 6 p.m. and can be watched on www.canadawest.tv